Wed, Feb 02, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Wang, Chung take speakership

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng is lifted into the air by pan-blue legislators after winning the election for legislative speaker by 123 votes to 101 yesterday.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and People First Party Legislator Chung Jung-chi (鍾榮吉) were elected speaker and deputy speaker as expected yesterday, while new legislators were sworn in for a three-year term.

Wang, also a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice chairman, vied for the post with Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), who is acting Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman.

With an absolute majority of 114 seats, the pan-blue camp was supported by the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union (NPSU) and independent lawmakers, giving Wang a total of 123 votes against Ker's 101 yesterday morning.

One vote unexpectedly went to KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中); it was thought that this vote might have come from a pan-blue camp or NPSU lawmaker by mistake.

In the afternoon, the election for deputy speaker was a race between Chung and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Huang Tsung-yuan (黃宗源), who the DPP caucus decided at noon would represent the pan-green camp.

Chung won as expected, snaring 122 votes against Huang's 102. One ballot was invalid.

Wang and Chung were sworn in shortly after the second poll.

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) was also in attendance, the first time a premier has been present at the swearing-in of a legislative speaker and deputy speaker.

After the ceremony, Wang, Chung and Hsieh talked in private for about half an hour.

At a banquet for the new lawmakers, Wang expressed the hope that cross-party negotiation and reconciliation could facilitate political stability.

"The executive and the legislature are like two wheels of a cart and the wings of a bird: if they work well with each other, the cart can move forward smoothly, and the bird can fly anywhere it wants," Wang said.

"But if the two ... are distant from one another, then it will be difficult for anyone to go anywhere. Cross-party harmony will improve the nation's development to a considerable degree in very little time at all," he said.

"Before Premier Hsieh took office, he stressed that his Cabinet would be a Cabinet of negotiation, and this exactly matches Jin-pyng's [my] long-term efforts in facilitating cross-party negotiations and the passing of many bills," Wang said. "I hope that the ruling and opposition parties can reach consensus as a base for propelling national development."

Wang said he would be a speaker who would be impartial in legislative affairs, and would safeguard the dignity of the legislature.

"I hope to improve legislative autonomy and self-discipline, and establish a high-quality legislative culture. I will also try my best to facilitate cross-party harmony and have everyone work toward national improvement and prosperity," Wang said.

The DPP and the TSU also decided on their new caucus whips yesterday.

For the DPP, the three whips are legislators Eugene Jao (趙永清) and Chen Chin-chun (陳景峻) of the Justice Alliance faction, and Legislator Lai Ching-te (賴清德) of the New Tide faction.

For the TSU, the new caucus whips are lawmakers Lo Chih-ming (羅志明), Ho Min-hao (何敏豪), Lai Hsin-yuan (賴幸媛) and Yin Lin-in (尹伶瑛).

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